The Danger Tree

883 Words4 Pages
In the book titled The Danger Tree by author David Macfarlane he writes about the major events of Newfoundland’s twentieth century, and a hundred years’ worth of stories about his great grandparents Josiah and Louisa Goodyear and their seven children: Josiah (Joe—David Macfarlane’s grandfather), Roland, Hedley, Stanley, Kenneth, Raymond, and Daisy (Kate). Macfarlane begins his book visiting his Grandmother in a nursing home, she is older and in failing health, her memory is wandering and the author uses the situation to introduce his connection to the Goodyear family. His grandmother Miss Carnell from Carmanville was a schoolteacher. She married Macfarlane’s grandfather Joe Goodyear and the author is recollecting his grandparent’s trip home after a winter spent in the woods. They attempt a treacherous river crossing with Macfarlane’s mother Beth, just a baby at the time wrapped up in blankets in a box tied to the front of a sled. Macfarlane uses this imagery to compare his grandmother’s state in the nursing home. Recollecting about his childhood in Hamilton, we are introduced to his father the ophthalmologist, at the Medical Arts Building. His father’s ancestors traveled from Scotland some 200 years ago and landed in Quebec where they traveled to Kingston to settle and farm the land. David’s mother was born in 1924 in Grand Falls Newfoundland, and her maiden name was Goodyear, a town that up until 1906 was nothing but forest until Lord Northcliffe built a town to establish the city as a permanent source of pulpwood. People came inland to Grand Falls for jobs and streets and electric lights, and most of all for the cash paying jobs the paper factory created. Macfarlane’s great aunt Kate was Louisa’s only daughter and one of the main links to the family’s great history, for her the war became an unspeakable tragedy. She trained, as a nurse at St. Luke’s
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